News from HQ

You may have noticed that recent editions of Club Connector have followed particular themes.  Last month, we featured the idea of operating experimental aircraft in a flying club, and from your comments, this is an interesting area for flying clubs of all types and sizes.

This month we take a look at Regional Differences—that is, how everything from pre-flight planning, on-board equipment, aircraft type and in-flight operations is influenced by the terrain and conditions over which you will be flying. We hope you enjoy this edition and, always, if you have ideas for future editions, please send an email to us at [email protected]

Tullahoma Fly-In: A Hot Draw

AOPA’s recent fly-in in Tullahoma, which took place on Sept. 13 and 14, was hot—both in terms of weather and attendance.  Over the two days, a total of 9,425 braved the heat to take part in the final AOPA fly-in of 2019 at Tullahoma Regional Airport/William Northern Field in Tullahoma, TN.  572 aircraft flew in over the course of the weekend, and attendees enjoyed the combination of exhibits, workshops, seminars, food, and fellowship that have come to define AOPA regional fly-ins.

Throughout the event, You Can Fly staff delivered a variety of presentations aimed at diverse audiences—from non-pilots to rusty pilots.  You Can Fly’s Michael Hangartner held a Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost flying club seminar, allowing attendees to hear both about how to find local flying clubs using AOPA’s Flying Clubs Finder, as well as how to use Flying Club Initiative resources to potentially start a club of their own.  At the same time, Texas Ambassador Pat Brown and Chris Moser, Senior Director of Flight Training Education, delivered a seminar titled Advanced VFR: 500 nm and Beyond—a presentation that examines what pilots need to think about when planning a long across-country flight. 

On Saturday, Pat gave a Rusty Pilots seminar, while Chris and You Can Fly Executive Director Elizabeth Tennyson delivered a You Can Be a Pilot presentation.  You Can Be a Pilot is aimed at non-pilots who are pondering getting into aviation, and discusses both the diverse pathways available and what people can expect during the flight training process.

Some of the greatest excitement occurred during the AOPA Pilot Town Hall, when Jennifer Storm, Vice President of the AOPA Foundation, announced the results of the 2019 You Can Fly Challenge.  The challenge, which featured a $2 million matching grant from the Ray Foundation, saw some 5,000 donors contribute $2.8 million.  As a result of this success, the Ray foundation generously increased its match by $500,000, meaning that $5.3 million was raised in total to support You Can Fly programs. 

Overall, the fly-in at Tullahoma saw AOPA’s fly-in season finish on a high note; we look forward to seeing you next year!

AOPA Flying Club Finder—It’s Your Data

The Finder is a wonderful way for prospective members and other flying clubs to see where you are based, what equipment you operate, if you have memberships available and, importantly, how to contact you.  The Flying Clubs Team also uses the contact information to inform you about upcoming events such as seminars, workshops, and socials events.

We have just completed a lengthy project where we reached-out to clubs in the Finder to check that their contact data was up to date—and we were surprised by just how quickly the information becomes stale. We have also recently introduced a very easy way for you to take control of your club page in the Finder tool, so you can make changes after board elections, changes in website addresses, etc.

Please take a few minutes to review your flying club page in the Finder, and check that all information is up to date.  If you first log-in to the AOPA website using your member credentials, and then go to the Finder page, you may see an EDIT slider just above the club name.  This means that you are already set-up as administrator for your club’s entry.  If you don’t see the slider, please ensure that you are logged in to the AOPA website—you’ll know if you see your name in the top right corner of the webpage. If you cannot see the EDIT slider even when you are logged-in, please send an email to [email protected] along with your AOPA member number, and well set you up as admin. 

Here is a short video on how to make changes once you can see the EDIT slider.

If your club isn’t yet in the Finder, please complete the form found here.  Don’t forget to click on submit!  We’ll then enter your club on the Finder and will call you once it done to set-up admin privileges.

Flying Club Workshops

As we reported last month, the Flying Clubs team and AOPA Ambassadors have been holding Flying Club Workshops around the country.  To date we have held five workshops and we plan to round out 2019 with additional workshops in Austin, TX; Dallas, TX: Vero Beach, FL; and South St. Paul, MN . Based on the excellent reviews we've received from clubs that attended the workshops, we are definitely planning to run more in 2020.  If you receive an email inviting you to one of the workshops, please act quickly as these invitation-only events fill up quickly.

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